LETTER: Watertown Group Commemorating Bombing of Hiroshima, Nagasaki

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Watertown Citizens

Candleboats float on the Charles River in Watertown in memory of those who died in the nuclear bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Candleboats float on the Charles River in Watertown in memory of those who died in the nuclear bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Watertown Citizens for Peace Justice and the Environment is holding a commemoration of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Sunday, August 9, the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki.


7:30 PM – Silent Vigil – Watertown Square
8:00 PM – Music and Testimonials
8:30 PM – Launching of the Candle boats on the Charles River


“Why do we stand in silence and float candle boats”?

  • To remember the more than 210,000 killed, and many more injured, by the U.S. nuclear attack on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9 in 1945.
  • To remember that militarization is intimately connected to racism, violence, poverty, and environmental destruction.
  • To remember the original five nuclear states, who have not taken serious action to abolish nuclear weapons, which has led India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel to acquire nuclear weapons.
  • To remember that President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the historic Iran nuclear deal, withdrew from the Intermediate Nuclear Force Treaty, and is committed to spending $1.7 TRILLION to upgrade our nuclear arsenal.
  • To remember President Trump threatened North Korea with war, and that on his sole authority he can launch our 6,800 nuclear warheads.
  • To remember that the dangers of nuclear war are rarely mentioned by presidential candidates, and that without a powerful grassroots movement dedicated to nuclear disarmament, the unthinkable – another Hiroshima or Nagasaki – is possible.

Sponsored by Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment, New England American Friends Service Committee, Mass Peace Action, and Survival Education Fund, Inc.

Visit www.watertowncitizens.org  or www.facebook.com/WatertownCitizensPJE

For a list of other activities remembering the events of August 6 and 9, visit

9 thoughts on “LETTER: Watertown Group Commemorating Bombing of Hiroshima, Nagasaki

  1. There is no doubt that nuclear weapons are a plague to humankind.

    The bombing of Japan was a human tragedy, but of course it ended a bloody war that Japan started. It is generally agreed that an invasion of Japan would have cost the lives of perhaps a hundred thousand American soldiers, not to mention countless Japanese.

    Speaking of destruction and human tragedies:

    What do the “Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment, New England American Friends Service Committee, Mass Peace Action, and Survival Education Fund, Inc.” think about the riots and violence destroying many of America’s big cities such as Seattle?

    What about the Black and other small businesses that have been broken into, set on fire, and destroyed?

    • It’s not generally agreed that it saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of American soldiers, though I heard this lie growing up too. Here’s General and future President Eisenhower on the subject. Do you know better than him? From Ike’s memoir, The White House Years:

      “In 1945 Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives.”

  2. Just so you know the Japanese military between 1937-1945 killed approximately 3.9 million Chinese (mostly civilians). It is estimated they were responsible for the deaths of 10.2 million during the course of world war II. Do some reading on the Nanking massacre. I also call your attention to the Library of Congress document published by the National Archives and Records Administration “Researching Japanese War Crimes Record” ISBN 1-880875-28-4. You may be surprised to realize that if the allies had to invade Japan instead of dropping two nuclear bombs the casualties of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would pale in comparison. I don’t disagree with the message presented but you should acknowledge what the alternative would have been if the United States didn’t take that action.

    • I agree with the US Commander of the Pacific Fleet in 1945. His view was shared by Admiral Halsey, Admiral Leahy, General and future President Eisenhower, and even Maj. General Curtis LeMay!

      “The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace. The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military point of view, in the defeat of Japan.”

      — Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet

    • I agree with you on the war crimes of the Japanese military, truly horrible stuff that should be given more attention in our schools. However, the statement that it saved more lies by preventing an invasion just isn’t true. Here’s Major General Curtis Lemay, just about as far as you can get from a peace activist, talking about this in September of 1945:

      “The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war at all.”

      — Major General Curtis LeMay, XXI Bomber Command, September 1945

      Can we stop perpetuating propaganda now?

    • No doubt. Question is did we need to vaporize children to do it? The consensus of military leaders at the time says… NO!

  3. And, North Korea and Iran are terrorist states. They brutalize their own people and their rhetoric and actions are a threat to the United States and the rest of the free world. Seems to me that the Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment distort the facts, elevate fiction to fact and in general hate the country that allows them to hold vigils, protests etc. without fear of reprisal.

  4. Don’t call us un-American. We actually know our history. You think you’re waving our flag, but you’re actually dragging it through the mud. Please stop.

    Our anti-imperialist (at least in their rhetoric) Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves right now. “She (America) goes not abroad in search of monsters to slay.” Actually that was John Quincy Adams but you get my point. What happened to us? Oh wait…

    “She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself, beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. The frontlet upon her brows would no longer beam with the ineffable splendor of freedom and independence; but in its stead would soon be substituted an imperial diadem, flashing in false and tarnished lustre the murky radiance of dominion and power. She might become the dictatress of the world: she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.”

    That JQ Adams. Maybe we should have listened…

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